How To Search EIN Numbers In California

Ashley Mangtani


How Do EIN Numbers Work In California?

How To Find EIN Numbers In California

The easiest way to find your own EIN number is to locate and lookup a previously filed tax return for your existing entity. All tax returns that have been filed previously will contain your EIN number.

Some EINs are public records and are accessible through the California Secretary of State. EINs are public because they allow for the free transfer of information between a business owner and the IRS. Some EIN numbers are notoriously difficult to find if your application has come back with a Reference 101 error.

EIN lookup services make sure your documents are checked by EIN specialists before forwarding your application to the IRS. After the IRS's procedures are finalized, your EIN number is securely identified and handed over.

What Is An EIN Number?

The employee identification number (EIN) is a unique 9 digit federal tax ID number that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) allocates to businesses operating within the United States for identification purposes.

Most types of business entities require EINs to legally pay and hire employees, open a business bank account, and take out a business credit card (trust banking). EINs are also required to file employment and excise tax returns.

EIN numbers are also known as:

  • Tax ID Numbers
  • Federal Employee Identification Number (FEIN)
  • Federal Tax Identification Number
  • Employer ID Numbers
  • Business Tax Numbers

How Do EIN Numbers Work In California?

EIN numbers in California work much like the rest of the United States and are used primarily for tax purposes. Specifically, you'll need an EIN number for the following reasons in California:

  • Hire Employees
  • Income Tax Withholdings
  • Unemployment Taxes
  • Filing Tax Returns At The State & Federal Level
  • Opening A Bank Account
  • Applying For Business License & Permits

Who Needs An EIN In California?

Most types of businesses in California are required to have EIN numbers by law and include:

  • Corporations
  • Partnerships
  • LLCs
  • Sole Proprietorships
  • Charities and Non-Profit organizations also require EINs if they have employees.

Businesses are also required to have an EIN number if they:

  • File Employment
  • File Fiduciary, Alcohol, Tobacco, or Firearms Taxes
  • Businesses With One Employee
  • Those Who Employ Household Employees Such As Domestic Workers

Businesses that don’t require an EIN number:

  • Sole Proprietorship with no employees
  • LLC with no employees

If you are one of the above businesses, you don't need an EIN number and instead can use a personal social security number. In California, the Employee Development Department helps businesses by administering unemployment insurance, disability insurance, and paid family leave programs.

New businesses that aren't single-member LLCs or have changed your business structure to become an incorporation and hired additional employees, then you'll need to apply for a new EIN number.

Do I Need An EIN To Apply For A Business Licence In California?

Business licenses are distributed by municipalities in California, so whether or not you need an EIN for a business is dependent on where your business is located.

When applying for a business license in California, you'll definitely need an EIN number as well as additional contact information, business type and structure, number of employees, and projected annual sales.

To apply for a business license, visit the California Department Of Tax And Fee Administration (CDTFA).

How To Apply For An EIN Number In California

The easiest and most secure way to apply for an EIN number in California is through the IRS Online Services Portal. Alternatively, you can also apply via fax, postal mail, or telephone.

The mandatory ss-4 form must be completed and should contain details about your legal business name, mailing address, type of business, and reason for applying.



Ashley Mangtani

SEO & Technical Copywriter specializing in B2B, SaaS, & Digital Transformation. Currently writing for WalkMe.